Norman Garrett, director of Engineering, E3 Spark Plugs (www.e3sparkplugs.com) is used to the incredulous looks he gets when he talks about the company's DiamondFIRE spark plugs. All he has to do is mention how a change in electrode design–from a single J-shaped piece with rounded corners to a three-legged unit topped by an open diamond-shaped end piece with square corners–can boost power and fuel economy in any spark-ignition engine, forces air-gap discharges, and creates the preferred edge-to-edge spark path. Then he hits you with this one: "The EPA has written the E3 into its emission rulemaking for engines at or below 19 kW under the company's original 'Pyrotek' name." (It's true.) Although the spark plug is only available in the aftermarket, Garrett and his colleagues are willing to speak to any OEM about fitting the E3 to its vehicles. Here's what else you'll want to know:
- Test results showed the plug measurably increased combustion pressure at each cycle, produced the fastest flame speed and combustion rise of any spark plug, improved power output by an average of 6% in typical engine operating ranges, and –dependent on engine class–reduced fuel consumption by anywhere from 3% to 13%.
- During testing at Michigan State, the E3 plug demonstrated a reduction in both hydrocarbon and nitrous oxide emissions across all loads and speeds when tested in a 1998 Ford Escort MPFI four-cylinder engine.
- Despite being made of conventional materials, the E3 completed 20 million firing cycles with no performance degradation.